What is democracy? Freedom, equality, participation? Everyone has his or her own definition. Across the world countries have a least the minimum trappings of democracy, but for many this is just the beginning. Following decades of US-backed dictatorships, civil wars and structural adjustment policies in the South, and corporate control, electoral corruption and fraud in the North, representative politics in the Americas is in crisis. Citizens are now choosing to redefine democracy under their own terms: local, direct and participatory. In Brazil, they have installed participatory budgeting in Porto Alegre, in Venezuela President Chavez came to power with the promise of granting direct participation to the people, and all across the Americas social movements and constitutional assemblies are taking authority away from the ruling elites and putting power into the hands of their members and citizens. This DVD features interviews with Eduardo Galeano, Amy Goodman, Emir Sader, Martha Harnecker, Ward Churchill and Leonardo Avritzer as well as cooperative and community members, elected representatives, academics and activists from Brazil, Canada, Venezuela, Argentina, United States, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia and more. It takes us on a journey across the Americas in an attempt to answer the question "What is Democracy?"
Despite a thriving economy, the tranquil city of Mombasa in Kenya suffers from a chronic shortage of decent social housing. This short documentary video tells the story of how tenants from Mizizma, Tudor and Changamwe estates in Mombasa formed a joint shelter committee to demand better housing services from their local council. The video has been co-produced by the Institute of Development Studies and the ILISHE Trust, a non-governmental organisation based in Mombasa.|Also available on video in NTSC format, on CD-ROM and in Kiswahili.|Author's summary
These Plans profile the tsunami-affected village, its political economy and the post-tsunami realities, aspirations and challenges of the communities. They present a community-led pre-tsunami social map, in order to establish a public documents, detailing the property ownership that existed before the tsunami.
These two CD-ROMs present a review of three yearÆs action research that has been undertaken in ActionAidÆs country programmes in Malawi and Sierra Leone. The aim of the research was to test the idea that poor communities are left outside the loop of negotiations about their own futures, because of barriers presented by language, literacy and access to those in power. The objective of the research has been to facilitate resource-poor communities to analyse and represent their own needs and priorities. Video was used by communities (in Mwakhundi, Malawi, and Freetown and Kambia, Sierra Leone) to form Community Alliances (CAs) around key issues with others like themselves. The CAs took their tapes to negotiate with government and donors. The action research tested a cyclical methodology focussed at representation through video. Each CD presents the research experiences of one of the case study countries. They include the video tapes that the CAs used to represent their needs to government and the responses they received.
This CD includes a guide to civil society engagement in advocacy on economic justice and poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSP), which aims to support civil society organisations to build their capacity to engage with economic justice issues and the PRSP process in their country. The guide adopts the PRSP approach as a framework for identifying areas for civil society engagement in advancing economic justice. The first section provides a general orientation to the PRSP process and the entry-points for civil society participation. It also assesses the quality of participation in PRSP processes to date, and provides a critique of the PRSP approach in general. The second section provides a general introduction to Participatory Poverty Assessments (PPAs), examples of methodologies and tools used in PPA fieldwork, highlights PPA findings, and looks at how PPAs can be linked to policy and policy making. Section three looks at the concept, rationale for, and approaches to participatory public expenditure management. It also focuses on budgets, covering issues such as transparency and participation in the budget process and the role of civil society in the budget. Tools and methods of budget analysis and advocacy are provided, as well as examples of budget work carried out by civil society organisations in various developing countries. Participatory budgeting and gender budgets are also examined. Section four provides an overview of the issues involved in the participatory monitoring and evaluation of the PRSP, looks at public expenditure tracking to ensure the effective use of allocated public funds, and the use of citizen report cards for evaluating the provision of public services. Examples are also provided of PRSP monitoring and evaluation initiatives and approaches from various countries (e.g. Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique).
This video accompanies the handbook " Teach Yourself Citizens Juries". It comprises two films: one about jurors from Lancashire, UK, talking about their citizens juries on youth, alcohol and illegal drugs; the other is a record of a citizens jury organised by older people in Tyneside exploring the challenges facing those who suffer falls and looking at potential policy changes. The video also covers: choosing a subject, setting the question for the jury, recruiting jurors, jury members questionin the witnesses, and maximising results.
Participation: sharing our resources: resource CD-ROM on participatory approaches, methods and tools
This resource CD features a field tools database of 135 participatory approaches, methods and field tools developed or applied by FAO and other organisations. It also contains a selection of 215 FAO documents in English, French and/or Spanish, which have been extracted from their Participation WebsiteÆs annotated library database and sorted according to a set of different category lists. The publications are available as full-text documents either in PDF, HTML or Microsoft Word format. The CD works in a web format and includes participatory tools and literature on micro (grassroots/community), meso (district/province), and macro (national/international) levels.
This 18 minute video texted in English in gives account of a GRUPAL (Working Group for Local Participation) Learning from Experience Self-Reflection workshop financed by IDS, where 25 young leaders from youth groups in Villa San Juan de Lurigancho and Villa El Salvador participated. The workshop is introduced with a brief presentation of GRUPAL and the partiticpants etting to know each other. Part one Participation and leadership works with identifying types of leaders, decision making processes and project implementation, through the visualisation exercise æpower flowerÆ examining powers within the youth groups. Through role leadership styles are analysed, and a short dramatisation of political campaigning is included. Part two Democracy, Citizenship and Organisation identifies democratic processes in the youth organisations with an exercise illustrating the importance of rules and leadership for group coordination in executing a task; and a role game, portraying different leadership styles and positive and negative attitudes in the dialogue between them are identify,ed. Part three focuses Advocacy looks at how to establish relationships with other actors, includes a debate exercise. The video is concluded with short poems on the topic creating compromise a summary of the workshop with lessons learned on democracy, transparence, dialogue and consensus to lead the participants in their work with the organisation and in their private lives. Finally a DIY video recorded by the participants in the workshop where they have interviewed each other on the issues of the workshop